Louise Lawler - Out of the Blue: The Enea Righi Collection London Friday, April 16, 2021 | Phillips

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  • A brightly coloured triptych, Collage Cartoon, 1990, epitomises Louise Lawler’s playful and cheeky artistic renderings. Indeed, Lawler is considered one of the most influential artists working in the fields of image production and institutional critique. Her photographs often capture artworks in their original context ranging from museums to collectors’ homes and auction houses. Snapshots are reworked to produce a new narrative exploring the dissemination of artworks once they leave the artist’s studio.


    Beyond her interest in the dissemination of artworks and their post-studio life, Lawler explores the theory of reception. A visual theory which studies the reader's interpretation in making meaning from literary or artistic works. The influential theory is used in the work’s humorous title: Collage Cartoon is a punny yet catchy title for a work composed of neither collage nor cartoon- but a juxtaposition of masterpieces photographed alongside one another and printed as a triptych.


    Collage Cartoon is made up of emblematic artworks hanging on a wall which are reframed and adjusted to act as ghosts of the originals. Depicting some of Roy Lichtenstein’s most iconic works such as: The Melody Haunts My Reverie, 1965, Shipboard Girl, 1965 and Sweet Dreams, Baby!, 1965.  Alongside Lichtenstein’s masterpieces are Ed Ruscha’s Standard Station, 1966, and Fashion-plate, 1969-1970 by Richard Hamilton. By using these references, Lawler imbues Collage Cartoon with immediate cultural status and importance.


    Lawler is part of ‘The Picture Generation,’ an independent group of artists which partook in the 1977 group exhibition Pictures organised by acclaimed curator Douglas Crimp. The group utilised photography and appropriation of popular images from the media, cinema, television, music, magazines and even other artworks to inspire their own renderings whilst examining codes of traditional representation.


    MoMA curator Roxana Marcoci gives us a tour of the exhibition Louise Lawler: WHY PICTURES NOW. at the Museum of Modern Art. 

    • Provenance

      Metro Pictures, New York
      Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2001

    • Exhibited

      Paris, Yvon Lampert, Louise Lawler "a vendre", 8 September - 10 October 1990
      Avignon, Collection Lambert, Theorema, Une Collection Privée en Italie. La Collection d'Enea Righi, 5 February - 29 May 2005, p. 238, 242 (illustrated, pp. 140-141, 144-145)
      Modena, MATA, The Mannequin of History: Art after the Fabrications of Critique and Culture, 18 September 2015 - 31 January 2016, pl. 52, n.p. (illustrated)


Collage Cartoon

signed, erroneously numbered, inscribed and dated 'Louise A Lawler 1/5 1990 PART A OF A TRIPTYCH' on the reverse of part A
signed, numbered, inscribed and dated 'Louise A Lawler 2/5 1990 PART B OF A TRIPTYCH' on the reverse of part B
signed, numbered and dated 'Louise A. Lawler 2/5 1990' on the reverse of part C

Cibachrome print, triptych
each 60.5 x 45.5 cm (23 7/8 x 17 7/8 in.)
Executed in 1990, this work is number 2 from an edition of 5.

Full Cataloguing

£60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for £105,840

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Director, Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

+ 44 20 7318 4065

Out of the Blue: The Enea Righi Collection

London Auction 16 April 2021